Definition of connotation
1a : the suggesting of a meaning by a word apart from the thing it explicitly names or describesb : something suggested by a word or thing : implication the connotations of comfort that surrounded that old chair
2 : the signification of something … that abuse of logic which consists in moving counters about as if they were known entities with a fixed connotation. — William Ralph Inge
3 : an essential property or group of properties of a thing named by a term in logic — compare denotation
connotationalplay \ˌkä-nə-ˈtā-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
Examples of connotation in a Sentence
Miuccia Prada, a connoisseur of vintage jewelry, has a collection of tiaras and subverts their formal connotations by wearing them for the day. —Hamish Bowles, Vogue, March 1997
Suddenly, Hsun-ching brightened. “So this is propaganda?” Alison did not know that, in Chinese, the word for propaganda literally means to spread information, and does not carry any negative connotations. —Mark Salzman, The Laughing Sutra, 1991
The word “evolution,” with its connotation of unrolling, of progressive development, was not favored by Darwin; he preferred the bleak phrase “descent with modification” for his theory. —John Updike, New Yorker, 30 Dec. 1985
a word with negative connotations
For many people, the word “fat” has negative connotations.
The word “childlike” has connotations of innocence.
Recent Examples of connotation from the Web
There was such a negative connotation attached to being outside and being a street kid.
While many members of the Puerto Rican diaspora proudly describe themselves as Nuyoricans, the term can have negative connotations on the Island.
Why, in some circles, has the term acquired such a negative connotation?
Fourth had a negative connotation of drugs, prostitution and crime.
The birthright the Allmans’ music claimed was geographical — American and particularly Southern — and with it came a willingness to move past genre lines and all their connotations of race and class.
The concept of the U-turn is a very negative connotation.
But usually, Trump uses other words that are connected with mental health but have a negative connotation.
Kelly unabashed in her ambition to be Oprah Winfrey—not just in the sense that Winfrey was the defining media figure of her era but also in all of the self-help, nourishing-the-soul connotations.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'connotation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What’s the difference between connotation and denotation ?
Connotation and denotation are easily confused, and the fact that neither word is particularly common in everyday use makes it difficult for many people to get a firm grip on the difference between them. While each of these two words has several possible meanings, they are notably distinct from each other in all senses. Denotation is concerned with explicit meaning, and connotation tends to be concerned with implicit meaning. The word home, for instance, has a denotation of “the place (such as a house or apartment) where a person lives,” but it may additionally have many connotations (such as “warmth,” “security,” or “childhood”) for some people.
CONNOTATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of connotation for English Language Learners
: an idea or quality that a word makes you think about in addition to its meaning
Seen and Heard
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